The 2011 NFL draft is less than 48 hours away, and each day provides a new scenario for each draftee. As draft experts try to hash out the details of each team's picks, I'll take a lighter look at draft day.
Each year, highly regarded college players and the NFL Commissioner get together at Radio City Music Hall and make dreams come true. As player sit and wait for their names to be called, sports media members are at work trying to spice up the event.
Voices like Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, Keyshawn Johnson and Ron Jaworski will be looking for chances to toss in a few jokes. Some will come off as clever, giving the broadcast a little extra zest. Others, however, will probably fall well short of being laughable.
Here are a couple of jokes I wouldn't put past the sportscasters Thursday.
When Mike Pouncey, an offensive lineman from Florida, is selected, the joke train will be set to depart.
Last year, his twin brother Maurkice was taken by the Steelers. Maurkice proceeded to turn and kiss Mike—on the lips. It was quite the awkward moment, and it caught the viewers off guard.
Mike is likely attending the draft, whereas Marukice did not. I don't expect another kiss, but I do expect the announcers to open up the joke drawer and pull out a few quips.
Corey Liuget (pronounced Luh-jit) is blessed with a last name that makes headline writers' jobs easier.
The defensive lineman from Illinois is lucky he won't have to hear the almost certain joke that one of the broadcasters will mutter out of necessity. There's no way they can resist questioning the ability of this athlete to make a transition to the next level.
My guess for the on-air personality to toss the phrase out there is Jon Gruden. He is a pretty predictable speaker.
Stephen Paea drew national attention when he shattered the bench press record at the NFL Combine with a mind-boggling 49 repetitions at 225 pounds.
His superior strength, coupled with the fact that he hits people for a living, should make for an easy pun with his name. Paea's draft status is uncertain as of now, but he is a player that can be thankful that he attended the combine.
If Paea showed up to the draft and the analysts can see him, they'd be more likely to play with his last name.
"So, the cornerback formerly known as Prince Amukamara is finally off the charts."
I can already foresee this one being said by Chris Berman. Things like "Leonard Dream Weaver" and David "Green" Akers make him the leading candidate to give Amukamara the nickname. In fact, here's a list of over 100 NFL players who have earned a Bermanism.
Amukamara may have already been called this, but Berman will make it float around in NFL heads long enough to make it stick. It starts on draft day, and culminates with appearances in the "Fastest Three Minutes."
We're helpless against it, and I love it.
Casey Matthews has some big footsteps to follow. His brother, Clay, just anchored a Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers defense.
Although Casey wasn't able to win the national championship with Oregon, he still decided to leave the Ducks for the NFL. He's got the hair of Clay, but does he have the talent—or more importantly, the heart?
"Can Casey be molded into Clay?"
That's the question I envision one of the hosts asking. Casey isn't quite at the level of Clay, and I don't think he'll ever have a year like Clay did this year.
Sadly, Casey is the Eli to Clay's Peyton. In fact, that's another joke that might make the broadcast.
This year's quarterback class is known for having a handful of potential immediate starters. Almost to script, there are a good number of NFL teams looking for their next signal-caller.
With Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker likely to be the first three QBs to go, that leaves two quarterbacks left to consider. Now, what's another word for consider?
"No need to ponder, take Christian Ponder."
Maybe it won't be these exact words, but I can see this little tidbit making its way out of the mouth of an analyst who believes in the Florida State quarterback.
Enough of the word play, I'm making myself nauseous.
Will there ever be another Aaron Rodgers in the room?
In 2005, Rodgers painfully waited for his name to be called. Countless teams passed as he continued to sit and take on more and more camera time. This year, it looks as if only Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert will be in attendance, so it's not likely.
Still, Rodgers' slide wasn't, either. What did it lead to? A chip on his shoulder. It was that shoulder that eventually threw three touchdown passes in a Super Bowl MVP performance.
Gabbert could be this year's version of Rodgers. If he is still seated after 10 names have been called, the comparisons will be made.
Jokes will ensue.
If Cam Newton is taken with the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Jimmy Clausen may have seen his last start as a Carolina Panther.
Many analysts believe that Newton will be the first selection on Thursday night, which could lead to some jokes about the value of Clausen. The No. 2 on Clausen's jersey may also be his new number in the depth chart.
The Panthers would be giving up on the quarterback they took just last season in the second round. After one less than impressive season, Clausen may have the job of reinventing himself and his game.
It's unfortunate to see good talent wasted on a bad team, but cracking jokes about the backup-to-be are bound to happen.
Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, Mike Williams.
For three consecutive years, the Detroit Lions chose to select wideouts in the first round of the draft. Roy Williams actually had a few exceptional years with the Lions, but the other two did little of anything in the NFL.
The Lions became notorious for selecting underachieving wide receivers until they finally made a good choice with Calvin Johnson in 2007. Still, the Lions seem to be understaffed at that position as draft day approaches.
With a pair of good receivers on the board and the 13th pick in their hands, the Lions have the potential to fall into the flanker trap again. If the Lions happen to touch a wideout with their first pick, the jokes will flow.
And the jokes will continue until that player has a bunch of great outings.
What's more fun then busting on the boss?
Roger Goodell will be walking back and forth from the podium to announce picks for the NFL draft. With each pick, the announcers will start to run out of things to say between choices. Time will wear on the them and they will think about how much money they're making to work the draft.
Then it will hit them.
"Would Roger Goodell have done this had the lockout not been lifted? I mean, his salary was only $1."
It has to happen. One tired sportscaster will toss the line out there and the bunch of them will share a good laugh.
If you can think of any lame-duck jokes that could be spoken Thursday night, share them with comments.